OAKLAND, Calif. When Doc Rivers was named the Orlando Magic's head coach after having had no NBA coaching experience, it certainly raised questions as to whether he could get the job done.
The Magic were competitive for the bulk of his time there, and Rivers' success in Boston has been well-documented.
Mark Jackson is his own man, obviously.
But like Rivers, he too became an NBA head coach having taken the less-than-conventional path of not having any NBA coaching experience.
And while it's still early, Jackson has the Golden State Warriors playing some of the best basketball in years.
The C's know this all too well after Golden State whipped them 101-83 on Saturday.
And while Jackson has had his share of coaching influences, he fully embraces the reality that Rivers' success was in some way important for individuals such as himself to get an opportunity to be an NBA head coach.
Doc (Rivers) is a guy that I talked to, and have spoken to, during the process of becoming a head coach," Jackson said. "Not only that, just sitting with him during his playoff and championship runs at dinner and spending time with him. I value him. I think hes a great coach, a heck of a basketball mind and has been very helpful during the process. Hes a guy that I have a tremendous amount of respect for and Im thankful.
Jackson added, "Hes a guy that would pick up the phone and say Mark Jackson is going to be an OK coach I value that."
And the fact that they both assumed their positions as NBA head coaches having not spent any time on the bench other than their playing days, is not lost on Jackson.
"I value the fact the he did it by not being an assistant coach and understood the question marks," Jackson said. "He was successful; hes a championship coach and is in the discussion for the best in the business. I do not take for granted how that paved the way and made it easier for somebody to give me an opportunity.